$1,010,000.00 Settlement For Man Struck by Falling Box in Tool Store
Attorney Howard Alan Kitay obtained a $1,010,000.00 settlement for a 41 year-old man who was struck by a falling box while shopping in a tool store in east San Diego.
The owner of the east San Diego tool store claimed that plaintiff assumed the risk of injury when plaintiff went to the aid of a store employee who lost his balance on a ladder. The store employee was attempting to remove a heavy box from a high shelf when he began to lose his balance. Seeing that the employee was in danger of falling, the plaintiff rushed over to steady the ladder. The plaintiff steadied the ladder and saved the employee from falling, but the heavy box fell on the plaintiff’s neck. The plaintiff sustained a head and neck injury in the accident.
The tool store argued that nobody asked the plaintiff for help, and, therefore, the plaintiff assumed the risk of the injury that resulted. The tool store refused to offer any money to settle the claim.
Howard Alan Kitay filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court, East County Division, and demanded $1,010,000.00 to settle the claim. In preparing for trial, Mr. Kitay deposed every person in the store at the time, and proved that the employee on the ladder called out for help and plaintiff was the only person close enough to help him. The tool store then offered $500,000.00 to settle the claim. The $500,000.00 settlement offer was rejected.
Less than thirty days before trial, the tool store settled plaintiff’s case for $1,010,000.00.
The plaintiff sustained a bruise to his brain. Although he was at risk for seizures for a period of time after the accident, he made an excellent recovery, and eventually returned to full activity.
$100,000.00 Settlement For Woman Who Slipped and Fell on Wet Grass
Attorney Howard Alan Kitay obtained a $100,000.00 settlement for a 48 year-old woman who slipped and fell on wet grass while visiting a friend’s house. The owner of the San Diego home invited plaintiff to come into her backyard, which required walking down a ramp with a six-inch-wide “well-worn path.” While navigating the path, the plaintiff slipped and fell, fracturing her right ankle.
Plaintiff was taken to Sharp Cabrillo Hospital, where a complete examination was performed. X-rays revealed a fracture dislocation of the right ankle. Plaintiff was given intravenous Morphine for severe pain. The dislocation was then reduced and the ankle was placed in a splint. Immediately prior to release, plaintiff was given Percocet for increasing pain.
One week later, an open reduction internal fixation surgery of plaintiff’s right ankle was performed at Mercy Hospital. After surgery, plaintiff’s right ankle was placed in a splint. After healing, plaintiff underwent physical therapy to strengthen her ankle. Her medical bills totaled approximately $18.000.00.
Attorney Howard Alan Kitay filed a claim with the homeowner’s insurance company, alleging the well-worn path was dangerous and defendant knew it was dangerous. The insurance company denied the claim, saying the accident was plaintiff’s fault and that the ‘well-worn-path’ was not dangerous. The insurance company refused to offer any money to settle the claim.
Attorney Howard Alan Kitay filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court, East County Division, and demanded the homeowner’s policy limit of $100,000.00 to settle the claim. The insurance company again stated the accident was plaintiff’s fault and refused to offer any money to settle the claim.
Mr. Kitay prepared for trial. He retained an engineering expert who inspected the “well-worn path” and reported: “The ramp where [plaintiff] experienced a slip and fall accident was an excessively sloped ramp, without a slip-resistant surface or handrail. This is a violation of the Building Code … The slope of the ramp measures 36% which far exceeds the maximum permissible 12-1/2% slope of ramps.”
Mr. Kitay forwarded the engineering report to the insurance carrier, noting the violation of the building code and citing Jury Instruction BAJI 3.45: “If you find that a party to this action violated the Building Code just read to you and that such violation was a cause of injury to another, you will find that such violation was negligence.”
Notwithstanding the engineering report, the insurance company refused to settle the case, and hired their own expert to testify the well-worn path was not dangerous.
Mr. Kitay then deposed the homeowner, who testified she had warned the plaintiff to “be careful” on the well-worn path. In response to questions by Mr. Kitay, the homeowner admitted warning plaintiff to “be careful” because she knew the well-worn path was dangerous. One week later, the insurance company paid the $100,000.00 policy limit to plaintiff.
$45,000.00 Judgment For Man Struck by Falling Light Fixture In El Torito Restaurant
The Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay obtained a $45,000.00 Judgment for a Chula Vista man who was struck by a falling light fixture in an El Torito Restaurant. The insecurely attached light fixture came loose due to vibrations from loud disco music played in the bar area. The plaintiff sustained an injury to his shoulder, which eventually healed. He was evaluated in the Emergency Room, diagnosed by an orthopedic surgeon, and received physical therapy. His medical bills totaled $8300.00.
El Torito insisted the incident was not their fault, and refused to settle the case.
The Law Offices of Howard Alan Kitay filed suit in San Diego Superior Court. At trial, El Torito again claimed the incident was not their fault, as they had no prior notice the fixture was loose. After a four day trial, the jury determined the fixture came loose as a result of the loud disco music, and that El Torito should have periodically checked to make sure the fixture was secure. Because they did not, the jury found El Torito negligent, and awarded plaintiff $45,000.00.